Tropical rains blessed Kauai most of the morning, a welcome liquous (Yes, it's in the Fictionary) libation for living things. Here in Rishi Valley a poinciana is in full bloom.
Nearby Tandu Sivanathan guides a team which is planting a special Seashore Prospera grass in Rishi Valley. last year Bodhinatha requested that this valley be cleared and landscaped, and the monks and members are teaming up to fulfill his vision.
Tandu's granddaughter Leila brought an umbrella to keep the rain off Tandu and the swamis. Very grown-up of her!
This is the gold leafing happening in Loha Guha, which means "iron cave," a steel building we erected to protect Iraivan stones from the weather. Here Deva Rajan, Tandu and Isani Alahan work.
They have been trained by the Maryland Guilder's Studio experts, and are gilding the five kalasams, the spires that will go atop the Rajagopuram entry.
They carefully cut the 23-karat sheets.
And apply them, using almost no pressure.
The leaf is amazingly thin and can be marred by the slightest touch. So they develop a great sensitivity to the media.
The top of this kalasam is painted with the primer coats and the bottom is the gold.
A squirrel hair brush is used to ever-so-softly press the gold into the sizing.
Isani concentrates on her task.
Tandu has become quite adept.
All are enjoying the blessings of being part of the creation of something so special.
Nearby Umbrella Ganesha works to keep the rain off Him.
The little bells on His umbrella.
The amazing bark of a gum tree near the monastery kitchen looks more like a satellite photo of the Earth.
"Stand strong for Saivism." The nature of life for Saivites is to turn work into worship, to turn the secular into the sacred. Each day give a little extra warmth, humanness and upliftment to others. Every day is a holy day, all day long. We want to follow our religion even in our dreams. If we help someone, we're worshiping. Wherever we are, that's a place of worship. "To the Saivite Hindu all of life is sacred. All of life is religion."